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Posted: 2/13/2006 10:12:17 PM EDT
Seeing that we are at war in a desert environment, how many of you guys actually use the Dust Cover on your rifle

I see such new rifles as the SCAR (ARM) and the XM8 have no dust covers at all. Not to mention all of the "new" civilian rifles coming out.

My question to everyone.... Do they still serve a purpose ?

Most combat rifles have never had dust covers... so why are they still in use in the US military ?

When on patrol, I'd imagine that you're ready to rock 'n roll and the dust cover is open... so why even have it

I really don't see our military or LEO's dragging their carbines through the mud before a patrol.

Have any of you taken your covers off... and left them off & for what reason ?

Anyway, I would appreciate any input from you fellas.

It may seem like a stupid question now... but in the near future it wont.

Thanks in advance


Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:15:05 PM EDT
why not have it?
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:21:16 PM EDT
Your aware the dust cover flips open as the bolt carrier moves backwards for ejection right? You can keep the dust cover closed and still fire the weapon.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:28:11 PM EDT
I would much rather have what I dont need, than need what i dont have.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:28:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Specop_007:
Your aware the dust cover flips open as the bolt carrier moves backwards for ejection right? You can keep the dust cover closed and still fire the weapon.



Yeah, I am aware of that.

I am just trying to get a general sense of its current usage for its designed purpose.

My post has no intent to split hairs or anything like that...

I am just curious because the newer alternate weapons do not have them, etc.

I have never been in the military so it would be nice to know if soldiers are instructed to close the cover
when not in use, etc.

I think it is a decent question to ask
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:37:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bones21:

Originally Posted By Specop_007:
Your aware the dust cover flips open as the bolt carrier moves backwards for ejection right? You can keep the dust cover closed and still fire the weapon.



Yeah, I am aware of that.

I am just trying to get a general sense of its current usage for its designed purpose.

My post has no intent to split hairs or anything like that...

I am just curious because the newer alternate weapons do not have them, etc.

I have never been in the military so it would be nice to know if soldiers are instructed to close the cover
when not in use, etc.

I think it is a decent question to ask



Your last statement made me wonder if you knew the rifle could be fired with the duct cover closed. No worries.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:48:03 PM EDT
In the Marine Corps you are taught to always have the dust cover closed, unless you are actively shooting. We were always taught to close it as soon as you racked the bolt back, even if you were just about to shoot. Its kinda become a habit now. So I always do it, even if I obviously don't need to. Anyways, the dust cover is there just to keep dirt and other debris out of the weapon when you aren't firing it.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 11:57:10 PM EDT
I think eugene knew he had built/designed a "jammer" and this was one thing he came up with in hopes of reducing the jams. It didn't work. He would have been better off to provide a slot to carry an assembled cleaning rod which could be quickly used to clear the barrel of the "two rounds jammed in at one time" that I frequently experienced (in vietnam)around the 400 round mark with my CAR 11.5 inch barrel.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 1:53:08 AM EDT
I for one am a compulsive dust cover closer, even though its subconsious. Be it home on the range or in Baghdad...its a habit for me. Most military guys probably share it.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 3:14:46 AM EDT
In the Corps, we were taught to keep it closed while not firing the weapon. It's a good idea to use it on this weapon, and I still use it today. I still clean my weapons weekly too.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 3:30:49 AM EDT
I voted no as I never close it as I am shooting.
I am only qualified as a chairbourne rainger.
I sometimes close it as I am placeing an upper on a lower.
Guess it could't hurt to get in the habit of useing it
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 3:39:30 AM EDT
In the Army we were trained to keep the dust cover closed as well. It does serve it’s purpose and it proved to keep a good majority of sand out of the weapon during my time in Iraq during Desert Storm.

I think with newer weapons going back to piston operating gas systems you’ll see more and more new designs with out dust covers.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 3:47:14 AM EDT
I always snap it shut, probably like alot of others it's just a habit.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 3:57:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By nhsport:
I voted no as I never close it as I am shooting.
I am only qualified as a chairbourne rainger.
I sometimes close it as I am placeing an upper on a lower.
Guess it could't hurt to get in the habit of useing it



Ahh, see I'm chairborne delta, so I always use mine.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:13:25 AM EDT
Always close it, at home from habit and here in Iraq from necessity.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:24:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2006 4:24:33 AM EDT by wildearp]

Originally Posted By oneshot1kill:
In the Corps, we were taught to keep it closed while not firing the weapon. It's a good idea to use it on this weapon, and I still use it today. I still clean my weapons weekly too.



That would leave me no time for shooting, sleeping, drinking, or fucking.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:46:31 AM EDT
I dont' remember but afer reviewing all the pics with my rifle in the Army, the dust cover is closed. I guess I must have closed it. So I vote yes.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:53:39 AM EDT

I think eugene knew he had built/designed a "jammer" and this was one thing he came up with in hopes of reducing the jams.


I thought the dust cover was a feature they grabbed from the German Sturmgewehr?
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:55:19 AM EDT
I was taught in the Army to close it as part of the normal operation of the rifle. So I do, although for civilian use it is probably not necessary to even have the thing on the rifle.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:57:20 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:59:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FreedomIsNotFree:
I would much rather have what I dont need, than need what i dont have.



Dust covers - It keeps the dirt out

Link Posted: 2/14/2006 5:17:11 AM EDT
If you didn't have a dust cover how could you finish "Ready. PORT. ARMS!!"?

If I'm not firing the dust cover is shut. My storage room gets the occasional sandstorms and the case doesn't always keep all the dust out.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 5:18:41 AM EDT
I use it because it's there
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 5:28:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
If you didn't have a dust cover how could you finish "Ready. PORT. ARMS!!"?




Wasn’t that the most awesome sound when everyone was in sync!
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 5:29:11 AM EDT
I keep mine closed all the time. It also serves another purpose, as an indication that a round may have chambered. Let me explain.

Clearing Barrel procedures. USAF Security Forces
Receive an open and safe weapon from the armory window, proceed to clearing barrel.
Clearing barrel official inspects open and empty chamber. Bolt is closed, weapon on safe, dust cover closed, magazine inserted.

You leave the clearing barrel with the bolt closed on an empty chamber, dust cover closed and full 30rd magazine inserted into the weapon. Weapon on safe.

As an area supervisor, if I am doing post checks and I find a dust cover open, I immediately suspect a chambered round. It can happen accidently, or it can be intentional. When I say accidently, remember, in some cases we have two troops, their personal bags and issue trash all packed into a Ford Ranger or similar compact vehicle. Even in a full size cab, it gets crowded and getting into and out of the vehicle numerous times in a 12 hour shift, I have seen the charging handle snag on stuff in the truck. Enough to chamber a round? I dont know that, but even a slight rearward movement of the bolt opens the dust cover, and it serves as a warning.

After 9/11 the AF realized it was short about 10,000 cops worldwide, and we were getting augmentees from all over the base. Some of these kids had at most 3 days exposure to carrying a weapon before being put on post. We had to constantly watch them. Not that they were bad kids, they just weren't cops, and some had just months in the service and had just reported to their squadrons when they got sent to us. Their weapons handling skills were marginal at best.

Keep the dust cover closed.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 5:40:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By QUIB:

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
If you didn't have a dust cover how could you finish "Ready. PORT. ARMS!!"?




Wasn’t that the most awesome sound when everyone was in sync!



On the rare occasion when everyone DID... there was always one dickhead who was a little late on the command though.

But yes... it gave me wood.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 6:01:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bones21:
When on patrol, I'd imagine that you're ready to rock 'n roll and the dust cover is open... so why even have it



Who in the hell BEE BOPS around with it open? It'll open itself up after the first shot.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:08:54 AM EDT
It fills with sand either way over here. The dust cover slows it down and that is good.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 9:16:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CitizenSoldier:
It fills with sand either way over here. The dust cover slows it down and that is good.



This is true. If you ever get into wind blowing fine grit around, forget it.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 9:21:34 AM EDT
I want to thank everyone for dropping their 2 cents in this thread.

I think the general consensus is that most people use their cover. If not for
its purpose, then by habit alone.

Yes, the Stg.44 had a dust cover, which opened upwards instead of downwards like the M16, etc.

If you look at the Stg.44 cover and the M16 cover, you can see that they are almost identical in design...
So I think we know where the idea came from. For that matter, where most modern firearms came from.

I still wonder if the newer rifle makers have made provisons to keep out dust, sand, mud, etc...

The pictures I have seen do not suggest it. Then again, the newest fad is piston driven uppers which would
eliminate a lot of blow back buildup... So maybe they calculated in the cleaner "actions" and allowed for
outside dust, sand, etc....

This kinda makes sense to me. That and all the chrome companies are using these days.

Or maybe the newer rifles have slightly "looser" tolerances, ala AK47, Glock, Sig 550 series so that they will work
even if they have grit in the operating system/chamber ?

Who knows....
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 11:13:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:

On the rare occasion when everyone DID... there was always one dickhead who was a little late on the command though.

But yes... it gave me wood.



+100000000000
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 11:21:03 AM EDT
Closing the dust cover as soon as it is safe has been a staple of all my civilian training. Roll the weapon on its side, observe the port. If all is well, close the cover and get moving.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 3:03:20 PM EDT
In almost every picture of soldiers in Iraq where the guys are not firing, they have the dust cover closed on their M16 or M4. I put mine on A. because it's there, B. because I have a slabside upper so if any junk DOES get in there and I need the rifle right away, something might hang the bolt up and that second I lose pulling the CH back and letting the bolt go might kill me, and C. to keep my bolt from drying out as quickly when I oil it.

Armalite/Colt put it on there for a reason. Why not use it?
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 3:19:43 PM EDT
just habit........................ and keep from getting even more dirt in the action than is going to be there anyways.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 3:36:02 PM EDT
Hell yes, just a habit and done immediately after going hot.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 3:44:42 PM EDT
I use it.

I don't want crap sitting on the carrier or possibly screwing something up while I'm out hunting.

WIZZO
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 3:45:22 PM EDT
There is the answer

quote from ASU1911


Closing the dust cover as soon as it is safe has been a staple of all my civilian training. Roll the weapon on its side, observe the port. If all is well, close the cover and get moving.




The key word in DUST cover is ..well... DUST. It's a simple thing to keep closed as an insurance against getting any more crap then you need to.

When your done killin what needs killin (paper, plastic,Haji, etc) you always want to scan/Access, roll the carbine over and observe the Ejection port (looking for a Type 2 malfunction) and then using your trigger finger reach up and close the dust cover. it's simple and with a little practice becomes ingrained into your muscle memory.

it's simple attention to detail stuff that keeps you in the fight
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:01:08 PM EDT
Great responses guys... but what about the possible M16 / M4 replacement, the FN (ARM), no dust cover there.

I understand they have 1 revision left before production... but I don't anticipate them adding a dust cover.

The XM8 did not have one either.

I know that the M16's and M4's will be in service for a long time to come, but they will slowly be phased out over the years.

What does everyone think of the replacements not having a dust cover ?

Could it pose problems, or do you think that the designers and SOCOM know what they're doing ?
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:56:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Teufel_Hunden85:
In the Marine Corps you are taught to always have the dust cover closed, unless you are actively shooting. We were always taught to close it as soon as you racked the bolt back, even if you were just about to shoot. Its kinda become a habit now. So I always do it, even if I obviously don't need to. Anyways, the dust cover is there just to keep dirt and other debris out of the weapon when you aren't firing it.



Yep. Keep that ejection port cover closed.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 5:00:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wildearp:

Originally Posted By oneshot1kill:
In the Corps, we were taught to keep it closed while not firing the weapon. It's a good idea to use it on this weapon, and I still use it today. I still clean my weapons weekly too.



That would leave me no time for shooting, sleeping, drinking, or fucking.



You gotta learn to manage your time. sleep while you fuck, drink while you shoot, clean up in the morning...
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 5:26:59 PM EDT
I would tell you that I kept my M4's dust cover closed when I was in the Army - but im afraid that it could be an OPSEC issue, because heaven help us if Ali-Baba knows that hes going to be killed by a clean weapon
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 5:38:12 PM EDT
The army trained me to close it. The air force doesn't seem to dwell on the subject - at least in the infrequent small arms training maintainers get.

It's become a habit enough of mine that leaving it open bothers me... even shooting a high power match, leaving the dust cover open and putting the NRA yellow tag in is enough to bother me.
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